who we work with: Phase Worldwide

The organisation

PHASE (Practical Help Achieving Self Empowerment) aims to reduce poverty in Himalayan mountain villages in Nepal through an integrated programme of healthcare, education and livelihoods support. They work in some of the areas of greatest need in the world; extremely remote places with scant resources, a harsh climate, difficult terrain, and little or no access to basic services. This is a massive challenge, but since they began in 2005, they have built a strong record of success with their approach.

PHASE supports communities where there is little or no functioning healthcare or education, limited knowledge about nutrition and low food security. To improve health and education outcomes PHASE partner with the local government authorities aiming to reinstate government services by providing extra resources, staff, training and management support. Their livelihood programme trains farmers to increase yields and produce more and healthier livestock. Their mission is to empower communities, instilling confidence to advocate for government services to which people are entitled, which leads to self-sustaining health and education provision and greater access to food within five to seven years. By targeting the most vulnerable - low castes, the very poor and people with disabilities - and having a particular focus on women and children, they ensure basic services and food are accessible to all members of these remote communities.

PHASE currently manages integrated health, education and livelihoods programmes in 26 high Himalayan communities across four regions of Nepal where 67,000 people are benefiting from their work. This is the first time we have worked with PHASE Worldwide, and we really pleased to be funding them for the next three years.

The project

Nepal is one of the least developed countries in the world; the UN Human Development Index ranks it 157 of 187 countries. This project will focus on six communities in Mugu in the Midwestern region which has some of the lowest Human Development outcomes in the country. UN district data shows that around 60% of children under five are stunted and up to 20% severely underweight. Only 8% of households are food secure. Mugu was deeply affected by the armed conflict 1996 - 2006 and reconstruction of infrastructure is slow. Trading is extremely challenging due to lack of road access, distance and terrain. Few development NGOs are willing to work here as it is difficult and expensive to manage successful projects, and access to these communities from the nearest urban centre (Nepalgunj) takes two days drive on a dry weather road followed by several days walking from the end of the road. During winter and monsoon months the road is often impassable due to snow or landslides.

The project will address complex problems in this very isolated and hard to reach area by providing intensive support to communities around growing food and promoting good nutrition. A team of health & nutrition trainers and local mobilisers will train 900 female farmers in all-season, quick yielding vegetable production. Another 900 farmers will learn about chicken rearing and each farmer will share new chicks and skills with neighbours to pay it forward. 900 new mothers will be trained in child health and preparing nutritional foods for their children using the locally available material from their fields. This will be complemented by biannual child health monitoring, including checking children for malnutrition. In total, the project will reach 13,000 people.

Within three years, PHASE aims to achieve a significant increase in food security, an increase in the number of months a family can feed themselves from their own land. Families will eat better as they learn more about land productivity and better crop selection and so improve their access to vegetables and animal protein. This will reduce the percentage of children under five who are underweight and also increase in the number of women selling vegetables or animal products to earn an income. Check back for updates as the project progresses.